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Samuel Smith's India Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's India AleSamuel Smith's India Ale

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1,688 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,688
Reviews: 890
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 23
Gots: 100 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,688 | Reviews: 890 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice clear yellowy orange light amber color with a nice fluffy stark white head that retains quite well and leaves good lacing.

Nose is full of the typical notorious sammy smiths malt profile. Some good english/european hop notes, but they are somewhat subdued. Somewhat perfumey.

A tasty brew with a good pale malt profile. Very typical of the unique sammy smiths flavor. The hoppiness in the brew is subtle, but defenitely there. A nice spicy and perfumey hop profile, but still somewhat subdued. The hop bitterness does come out on the dry finish, but is of course not as palate rippingly bitter as your american versions.

Mouthfeel is right where it should be here, they have got that down at SS. Carbonation is right where it should be, good dryness for the style.

Drinkability is very nice, this is defenitely a pub pint, and one I would love to session on, especially if it was on cask.

Overall an enjoyable brew, and a fair representation of the style. English IPAs really get shit on over here because many people review them as though they are american IPAs and should be full of citrus and pine. This is defenitely a great session brew for those looking for more than a bitter, but less than an american hop bomb. Would be very interested to try this one on cask.

Photo of GClarkage
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

01/24/09- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 550ml bottle with no freshness info found. Poured into my 20oz Pizza Port glass.

Appearance- Perfect example of a deep amber or copper colored pour. About a one fingered head with xome decent spotted and light lace patchwork left behind.

Smell- No much of a nose. Some caramel roasted hops and some minor hoppy aspects.

Taste- Not really hoppy for an IPA..actually considerably malty. Lots of caramel malt...medium roasted flavor...not to burnt, not to light. Some lightly bitter english hops, but mostly a nice caramel malted flavor.

Mouthfeel- Medium to a slightly higher carbonation level. More hoppy flavor in the aftertaste than the regular drinking phase.

Drinkability- Great tasting beer, not sure wether it's an IPA or not, but very drinkable and recommended...just don't think you are getting an English hopfest.

Photo of BWH3
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden amber, small single fingers breadth light tan head. Fades quick under the heavy fire of the above average carbonation for style. 3.5
S: Floral, grassy hops profile atop a caramel/toffee malt bed. A sulfate note is present. 4.0
T: Same as aroma except the finish is dry, slightly fruity without lingering. Malts are dough like. 4.5
M: Light bodied. slightly below average head retention. 3.5
D: well balanced supremely enjoyable. 4.0

Photo of hosehead83
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass --gold/amber with a thick two inch head

Light hop aroma with slight malts

Taste--Bitter hops up front with subtle malts backing up, slight mineral taste with a bittering finish--A lingering bitterness throughout that hangs out for awhile

Overall, typical English ale; reserved and understated, very drinkable
-a fine ale with a spicy dish

Photo of cvfish
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a light orange color that produced a white head that retained well and left some lacing around the glass

S - Robust hops, malts, and citrus

T - Lots of hoppy bitterness, some malts, lemongrass

M - Full bodied, moderate carbonation

D - A good English IPA, not my absolute favorite, but something I would drink again

Photo of farrago
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good vibrancy in the red-amber color, while clear still captures the eye, the large, frothy head a good two plus fingers deep and takes its damn time dissolving. Sweet malts and roasted caramel, there's a kind of basement dampness to it, like undisturbed natural growth blossoming, well water minerality and hardness, hops and a grassiness emerge only after it warms appreciably, doesn't lack persistence per se, more so can't get its ducks in a row. Medium-bodied, buoyed by broad carbonation, floats in the mouth as much as hugs the tongue. Less of the caramel, malt sweetness here and more of the hoppy bitter, herbal bite, let's the bread, nut, yeast flavors fall in the middle and then have to pick a side. Not hard to drink at all but needs a bandleader to decisively set the direction.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A gorgeous sunset golden-orange color carries a uniform haze, presumably from the hops. Head is snow white and leaves dots and dashes of lace.

Aroma has something very typically English about it...a kind of boozy/fruity swirl. Not boozy as in crazy alcohol, just something that reminds of cheap liquor. Also a fresh bread dough kind of maltiness. Hops are there but certainly equal amongst the other characteristics.

Having blasted my tongue lately with double-hopped, wet-hopped and hoppily hopped hoppy beers, this is like getting smacked back down to reality. But there is certainly bitterness here, and it comes on in a quick wave. The front of the sip seems equally malty, fruity and hoppy, and then the bitterness rises like a specter and takes over by the finish. I'm reminded of the character of Sierra Nevada's many hop-centric ales, in terms of the spicy bitterness of the finish, but it's also fruitier and carries a mild sourness. Bready, biscuit-like malt barely hangs on but it's there and it helps keep things from getting too far off balance.

Sharp bite to the carbonation, which accents and underscore the hop bitterness. A thin line of smoothness runs through the center, but it's coated in an almost numbing prickliness and considerable dryness.

A potent and powerful reminder of where it all came from. A rather tasty IPA for sure, although I can think of many better (all that come to mind come from the U.S....or Denmark!).

Photo of khiasmus
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had a tangerine a few minutes ago. The color of this beer is the same as the flesh of the tangerine, and the head is the same as the inside of the rind. A fine pillow forms and then drops to what looks like a slice of swiss cheese atop a wood floor, or perhaps brown stars in a white background. A few sheet-gashes are left on the walls.
There's that swiss cheese again in the aroma, and it's accompanied by resin and some citrus, but the main element is a brach's caramel or perhaps a werther's original. My granddad used to throw them and hit me in the back of the head while I was watching TV... I'd be annoyed for just an instant, then excited.
Dry finish after the medium body brings this thing to a nice close.
Wrap a caramel in several slices of swiss cheese, then add a bit of grapefruit juice, and voila! perhaps not perfect, but'd be much like this beer... (and sounds damn tasty.) :-)

A good representation of the english style, and while underwhelming, easy drinking.

Photo of Beernoisseur
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good example to drink to illustrate the differences between American IPA and English IPA.

The appearnace was lacking a tad to me. The head was a little thin (even with a relatively aggressive pour) and the lacing was on the weak side. This has a good nutty quality to it, both in the nose and on the palate. The hops are the dominant flavor characteristic, with a real nice bitter bite on the finish.

Good beer. Not spectacular, but good.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an ultra clear light copper color. Vigorous pour yields a surprisingly small amount of creamy off-white head, but it sticks around nicely and leaves some spotty lacing behind.

Earthy mineral nose with some of the more non-intensive citrus smells like overripe oranges, acidic grapes and pomegranate. Malts are there, in an un-sweet kind of way.

Has a grassy hop flavor with a heavy handed dose of light and amber malt flavors. Hints of biscuits, clover and honey. Mineral taste is very much in evidence and is a bit distracting in an IPA. Has a mild chalky flavor that I am assuming comes from the stone fermenters they use.

Quite different from an American IPA and not nearly as bitter. The taste does grow on you after the initial shock of what one typically expects from an IPA. I could really see myself enjoying a fresh imperial pint of this in a British pub.

Photo of jayfarley3
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a pint glass. Poured a clear amber color with a big off white head that disappeared fairly quickly. Smells of faint malt and hops. Taste is not what i expected, hop flavor is very faint compared to the American IPA's, but this is a very smooth easy to drink beer nonetheless. This was my first time drinking an English IPA, it's not quite what I had expected but it was still a good beer, but I definitely prefer the American style more.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a pale orange-amber (mildly hazy) with thin, fizzy, sticky, white cap. Decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Malt and citric hops. A pretty light aroma.

Taste: Grainy and caramel malts, citrus (mainly lime), herbs and grassy hops. Smooth and balanced with a dry finish. This is the first English IPA I've ever had, so it's a bit hard to score. This style is far different than any of it's American counterparts.

Mouthfeel: Stiff malty backbone with lots of carbonation. Very chewy and medium bodied. Nice mouth-numbing.

Drinkability: Carbonation might end up killing this one for me. Not too heavy, decent flavor, but I don't think I'd want another (550mL) after this one.

Photo of gabeerfan
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy amber-orange with a nice head that falls to a thin ring.
Malty aromas. Lots of caramel and toasted bread. This is also nicely hoppy with orange and fresh cut grass. I even caught a very slight whisp of coocnut in there too.
The flavors are pretty malty too. Still has the caramel and bread flavors and the hop flavors are perhaps more grassy than in the aroma. The orangy hops are there, when combined with the malts it gives a little bit of a marmalade flavor to the beer.
Medium bodied. Finished powdery on the tongue.
Quite drinkable. Very good flavors and a sessionable ABV make this a good choice.
This is probably more in line with what IPA's should be, but we've all been so used to American IPA's that this beer probably falls through the cracks a bit. This may not be the best English IPA out there, but it is definitely worth a try.

Photo of froghop
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a semi-cloudy amber-orange with a small creamy off-white head, a little lacing.

smells of malt, touch of caramel, some citrus, some orange spice, and a few hops.

taste is crisp, smooth, caramel, citrus, grass, well balanced hops and malt, not too bitter yet more bitter on the back end, leaves the mouth slightly dry.

Photo of Macca
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours an amber/orange colour with a big head from what might have been an over-vigorous pour.

Lots of hops on the nose as was to be hoped for.

The hoppiness dominates the palate with a bit of malt thrown in as well.

A nice crisp bitterness helps to make this a very easy drinking beer.

I enjoyed it a lot.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours tawny deep orange with a terrific foamy off-white head. Some lacing, but minimal.

Some toasty malt notes and a little hop leaf in the scent.

Flavor is very muted, in all aspects. Light caramel malt flavors with really really restrained hop bitterness. I guess this is an IPA, but it is the mildest I've had in a while. Finish is clean.

Moderate mouthfeel but decent carbonation. Overall, you can drink alot of these, but you can do alot better. Just missing something here. Worth a try, but won't be a favorite.

Photo of prosper
2.99/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a polished bronze, with a dense foamy head that leaves lots of lace.

Smells excellent, earthy and floral hops and a lot of malt notes including toast, biscuit, and toffee.

Taste is... off, somehow. It's very tart and a little sour up front, and delivers little in the way of hops. What's there I'd describe as orange/tangerine. Lots of biscuity-toast and some toffee, and plenty of light fruity esters that compliment the light hops flavour. Something slightly acrid in there, too. Finishes with biscuit notes and grainy acridness, and a slight mineral-enhanced bitterness. The flavours are fine, but a poor interpretation of an india ale IMO. Call it an english pale ale, and I'd go 3.5 to 4.0 here

Mouthfeel is spritzy and light. I doesn't seem to have a lot of CO2, but it does bite like it does.

It's crisp and refreshing, and not at all unpleasant to drink. Too bad it's nothing like an IPA

Photo of hoplover82
2.32/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Man, this is the worst IPA I've had. Terrible interpretation. The worst by Sam Smiths.

Pours a hazy gold color with a thin white head.

Almost no hop aroma, just light pale malts in the nose.

Almost no hop flavor, just pale malts and minerals and a little bitterness. Nothing impressive.

Very thin, kinda watery, light bodied.

Not too drinkable.

Photo of magictrokini
2.27/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Extremely disappointed by this beer. Pours clear yellow with a foamy white head. Nose is weak, very weak. Mostly goldings and pale malt/bread aroma with mineral water. Watery, shify mouthfeel. Pale/golden ale flavor with mor malt than anything else. I didn't look at the ingredients, but I'll bet "hops" is nowhere on the list. Tastes more like a Pale Ale that was poured into a dirty glass that may have contained an IPA at some point. Charlatan!

Photo of Vendetta
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Original Rating Date:
August 28, 2008

Pours light bronze with a thin head. Smells incredibly bittersweet and malty with only a hint of hops, strange for a beer called an IPA. Bitter maltiness dominates the first sip. Lots of caramel in there also. Very sweet malts here, definitely not an IPA as it lacks any hop punch whatsoever. Really impressive mouthfeel with carbonation that really makes it finish well. Very dry as well. Very dry. Samuel Smith doesn't disappoint and once again delivers with a super quality beer for the price despite being misnamed- this is an ESB through and through.

Photo of colts9016
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a deep amber copper color with carbonation. Very little head with the pour. The smell has a hint of hops, molasses, toasted malts. the taste is malty, a hint of soap a bit bitter and hint of pine and floral. Smooth mouthfeel, acidic finish that is lasting

Photo of HIFF
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful light honey brown color. Nice thin head some lacing. Nice sweet flowery aroma. Not what I had expected but pleasant. Super smooth flavor for an IPA not real hoppy no strong bite. More a strong fruity flavor. Very nice texture and very drinkable. Looking to try this one again.

Photo of PintOHops
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a clear rich amber/copper with a thin head. Little lacing, medium-lite carbonation. Smells of sweet raisins, floral pine hops, and biscuity malt. A touch of caramel as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of some sweet honey/caramel with roasted black malt. Citrus & raisins as well, with wonderful hop bitterness that lingers a tad. Not much changes as it warms. Mouthfeel is smooth, a tad chewy, and has a medium body. Medium carbonation as well.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - I could only put away about 3-4 of these before the bitterness begins to be a little much. I would of appreciated more lingering hop bitterness, and more of a roasted character. This is a decent IPA though, I definitely think you should try it. All in all though its very good, and I would enjoy it from time to time. Cheers!

Photo of Offa
4.65/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I find this to be a wonderful, flavourful, very juicy, and highly drinkable IPA.

Deep orange gold, it has a very large off-white head that is creamy and slowly shrinks to a permanent thin, foamy top and leaves some nice lace in uneven rings.

The aroma is very juicy with a lot of citrus, yeast, apples, leaves, honey, and a little bread.

The taste is similar, very juicy with citrus (mostly orange with a little lemon), dry leaves (especially in the finish), a lot of light fruit, hint of toffee, a zesty yeatiness, and a light element of bread dough. It has a lot of hoppy and yeasty flavour, but the hop bitterness is restrained to the poitn of just dominating the light sweetness, giving a lightly bitter finish. It's highly quenching, with a juicy-yeasty tarness similar to other English IPAs (like Ridgeway) and exceedingly drinkable.

3.07/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 550ml bottle into pint galss.

A: Pours a crystal clear medium amber with a thin head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing.

S: Bready malt, orange peel and faint hops.

T: Peanuts and citrus dominate with a pleasant metallic, oily finish. Seems as though sweetness was added post-fermentation. This India ale lacks the hoppy bitterness that I had expected and craved. Malt and citrus take center stage as the beer warmed.

M: Medium-light with perfect carbonation.

D: Lacks the punch I expected. I'm rather underwhelmed.

Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,688 ratings.